Meeting of the Delegation of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk with Poles in Michigan on 21-24 November 2019 at Orchard Lake Centre and in the Parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Sterling Heights.
On 21 November 2019, the delegation of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk attended the last farewell of Halina Konwiak, alias Hala, R.I.P. (27 November 1924 - 18 November 2019), nurse of the “Bakcyl” detachment, battalion “Zaremba-Piorun” fighting in the Warsaw Uprising in the quarter of Śródmieście Południowe (Southern Centre). Sent to a prisoner-of-war camp after being arrested. Eventually, along with 1,772 Polish women, she was sent to the concentration camp in Oberlagen, which was liberated on 12 April 1945 by General Maczek’s 1st Armoured Division. She left for the US after the war, where she settled for good. She worked for the Polish Home Army Veterans' Circle Michigan Division, serving for years as its chairwoman. The funeral mass was held in Our Lady of Czestochowa church in Sterling Heights. Deputy Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Professor Grzegorz Berendt, PhD, Professor of the University of Gdańsk, said that we are obliged to always remember about the sacrifice of each and every soldier fighting during WW2, because we owe our freedom to such people as Ms. Halina Konwiak.
Next day, during a meeting with Poles in Orchard Lake, Professor Grzegorz Berendt presented central projects devoted to the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 carried out by the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, as well as the latest results of the archaeological research on Westerplatte Peninsula. The presentation took place during the 6th Reunion of “Gazeta Polska” Clubs in the US and Canada. A special ceremony was also held during the meeting awarding the medals of 100 Years of Regaining Independence awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland to those who had contributed to the Republic of Poland regaining independence or to strengthening its sovereignty.
The event was crowned with a solemn mass in the Parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The liturgy was attended by the reunion’s attendees and numerous Poles from Detroit and its region. After the mass, all the participants were invited to a meeting, where such people as, inter alia, Minister Antoni Macierewicz, MEP Ryszard Czarnecki, Editor Tomasz Sakiewicz and Professor Grzegorz Berendt, PhD, delivered speeches. Thanks to a presentation and a short video devoted to the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, the attendees had an opportunity to see everyday operations of the Museum not only as an institution collecting numerous exhibits, but also as a modern cultural centre.